The 12th edition of the I-League is exected to start from October 26, Goal understands. 11 teams will participate in the league after Churchill Brothers managed to overturn their relegation from last season. This was after the All India Football Federation's (AIFF) Emergency Committee paid heed to Churchill's plea of reinstating them into the league since they were the only club from the football-loving state of Goa.
This season will also see a team from Kashmir ply their trade in the I-League after Real Kashmir won the Second Division.
Reigning champions Minerva Punjab might feature in the opening league game of the upcoming season.
The Indian National Team, who are drawn alongside Thailand, Unites Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain in the 2019 Asian Cup, will play their group fixtures on January 6, 10 and 14. The I-League schedule is not expected to coincide with the national team's aforementioned fixtures.
The I-League will continue with the current rules and regulations that allow for five overseas players in the starting eleven with a total of six in the squad. However, they have decided to do away with the rule of signing at least one Asian player as part of the foreigner quota.
Also, a subsidy of Rs 45 lakhs would be made available for each of the I-League contestants. The I-League will be broadcast on Star Network. There was a discussion in the League Committee meeting in August that only 50 matches would be televised. However, it is believed that the AIFF President Praful Patel has intervened and urged their commercial partners to ensure that more than 50 matches are broadcasted in the upcoming edition of the league given the number of matches this season would go up with the total number of teams expanding.